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2009 New Britain High School Grad Finding Success in College

Christina Fawcett, a 2009 New Britain High School graduate, admits she wasn’t always the best student. But, the current University of Connecticut senior says her experience at New Britain High School prepared her well for college and the “real world.”

“My first couple of years (in high school) I was a bad student, I just never went to class,” Fawcett said. “I really enjoy talking. You can’t talk in class, so that was one of my biggest struggles – learning to be quiet and really listen.”

After Fawcett completed her sophomore year at NBHS, the graduation requirements changed, and she had the opportunity graduate a year early. It would require her to buckle down and get serious about her studies.

“My senior year was pretty difficult,” she said. “I had to face the stresses. I had to face the SATs, (decide on) what schools I wanted to apply to. There was no skipping class, no talking; it was a no-nonsense year.”

Fawcett said she developed relationships with several NBHS staff members, including English teacher Kristie Beckwith and Director of Guidance Counseling Kris Fletcher.

“They helped me study and find out things available to me,” she said. “(My teachers) were always around whenever I had a question, and they were always helpful after school.”

Fawcett’s biological father died her senior year, and teachers and staff helped her cope.

“Mrs. Beckwith would listen to me every day,” she said. “We still email each other. She was very supportive.”

Beckwith said Christina was the kind of student you wish you had a room full of.

“I have had many wonderful students throughout my career in New Britain, but so far, Christina’s tenacity has gone unmatched,” Beckwith said. “She has an indomitable spirit and overcame extreme adversity before graduating high school. Her will and desire to succeed emanate from her very being; it was truly extraordinary to watch her grow into a young adult.”

Fletcher also remembers Christina fondly.

“Christina is a wonderful example of a dedicated student whose attitude, not her situation, is what will mold her future,” Fletcher said. “She has been an inspiration to many of us at NBHS, students and faculty alike.”

Fawcett said the teachers aren’t just teachers at NBHS.

“They’re not there just be teachers and to discipline you,” she said. “I felt like they really cared about me.”

Fawcett said NBHS helped prepare her for college and life after college.

“They make you accountable for your actions,” she said. “I think they help you because they don’t baby you. But they don’t kick you to the curb either (if you’re having problems).

Fawcett attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York her freshman year, then transferred to Tunxis Community College her sophomore year. She has been at the University of Connecticut for two years. She is majoring in political science/pre- law, with a minor in history.

“I will graduate in May,” she said. “I’m planning to take a year off. I want to take the LSATs, and I’m hoping to go to law school.”

If that doesn’t pan out, Fawcett said she will take her GREs and get her master’s degree.

“I’m just very motivated to continue my education,” she said. “I have that motivation now, so why not use it?”